Don canvasses agripreneur as panacea to youth unemployment
THE Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Adebiyi Gregory Daramola, has called on the three tiers of government to enthrone a conducive environment for agribusiness as a most variable platform to creating jobs for the teeming unemployed youths with a view to addressing the ‘alarming’ rate of unemployment plaguing the country.
Delivering a lecture titled ‘‘Agriculture: A Panacea for youth employment in Nigeria,” Daramola urged stabilisation of power supply to enable existing industries produce to their optimal level, just as he called for further strengthening of the nation’s school curriculum to make the youths agriculture-enthusiastic.
Represented by Prof. Taiwo Amos, the VC, who spoke over the weekend in Ikorodu, Lagos as guest speaker at the 15th Memorial Lecture of Prof. Anthony Adegbola organised by Ikorodu Division Human Resource Development Board (IDHRDB), stressed that agriculture had gone beyond the primordial drudgery of the past as it has become a high employment-creating and income-generating avenue, urging the youths to look into the entrepreneurial aspect of the sector which he listed to include product supply, farm production, product processing and product distribution.
Decrying the nation’s unemployment rate which he put at between 21 and 30 per cent with 23 million unemployed youths according to official figures, Daramola urged development-oriented agriculture policies to make the sector address the malaise head-long.
He contended that if the sector was made workable, the issues of rural-urban migration, conflicts, poverty and increased criminal activities which were associated with joblessness would be effectively tackled.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Hon. Sunny Akinsanya Ajose, deplored the perennial under-funding and lack of commitment by successive governments towards the sector.
He noted that agriculture remained a springboard to employment of youths and economic development of the nation.
Also, the special guest of honour, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa, advocated the provision of basic amenities to check rural-urban drift, urging the local councils to make effort to develop the rural areas to make them sustainable to discourage the exodus.
In their remarks, the chairmen of IDHRDB and the parent body, Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG), Professors Kunle Adewahab and Adetayo Ninalowo respectively thanked participants and stressed that the event was being held yearly to uphold the enviable legacies of the late Prof. Adegbola, launching a N1 billion endowment fund to erect the Adegbola Science Centre in Ikorodu.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of Merit Award to high-flying school administrator, Principal of Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu and 2015 Best School Administrator in Nigeria (Senior Secondary Category), Mrs. Abiodun Sherri Ogunniyi.